Hello and good afternoon from cloudy, gray, slightly rainy(?) Phoenix, Arizona where the state can’t quite figure out what sort of weather it wants for the winter season.

The other day I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and was just fine, but then Christmas Eve, while in Tucson visiting my family for the first time at the holidays in nearly 4 years, I bundled up more than I have all year.

Figure it out, Arizona. We need stability. 2021 was up and down, enough.

I know I called this a “recap” but I’m not here to go beat by beat.

I’m only here to say that these holidays very nearly didn’t happen. The Plan, as I called it in my head, was to go to Tucson, spend the week with family under no restrictions, and have an amazing time before we returned home in preparation for the arrival of Baby C.

That did not happen in that way.

Since COVID and its many variations are the villain of the story that refuses to go away, even though the main characters figured out how to stop it in Act I and are just letting it go on going on, we changed plans. Masks were worn at all stages of interaction. We didn’t stay with my folks, instead (luckily) finding a cute AirBnB a couple minutes away with hosts who were gracious enough to make it nice for the holidays.

Merry Christmas

Our Christmas was not what I wanted it to be. I wanted my parents to get to see my sons wake up first thing on Christmas morning, open their gifts, and spend the day lounging around in their pajamas until the rest of our gigantic Mexican family stopped by. Board games, fire pits, and “A Christmas Story” on repeat for 24 hours ensues.

That didn’t happen.

Masks were worn. People had to return to their own domiciles. Less face time with people happened because the boys nap time and bedtime were at a different place. Did we get to see and spend time with people we love? Absolutely. And I guess after a year where most didn’t get to make it to the end of 2021 with all the people they love, I shouldn’t feel so petty and sad that it didn’t quite go the way I wanted.

But I do.

And I know that’s wrong. I’ll sort myself out but, for now, I’m happy and sad at the same time. The memories will hold tight, and in a few years I won’t even remember the petty feeling I had in my heart for this time, but that’s what’s there now and it’s okay to feel what you feel.

So long as you learn to move past it.

Project: UPDATE

GREY has been sent to the agent who started my on this journey. I wrote about it a little while ago, and understand completely what time of year it is, but they said they were open back up, so all we can do is wait.

DEED, my middle-grade realistic fantasy, is still on my desk, ready to have its 2nd draft started. Red pen is nearby, and there’s not a thing that should stop me from getting started today!

*looks at the giant stack of laundry from the last five days.

Aw man.

Book Quotes – Where the Deer and the Antelope Play – Nick Offerman

“All these examples make me ashamed of us. They make my want to somehow pressure-wash the caked shit off the fenders of my soul. I think and talk and write a lot about our relationship with the obvious versions of nature, like parks and forests and trails and gardens and farms, for example. Badgers. But these distasteful interactions bring to mind another way that we neglect our natural relationships, and this is simply with one another.”

Nick Offerman, pg. 293

If you’ve seen Nick Offerman, in literally anything, then it’s hard not to read any of his 5th book without imagining those silky, tough tones narrating the entire thing. I don’t know why they even bothered to do an audiobook version of this, it’s so easy to hear him in every word.

Offerman’s book, detailing an extended hike with friends as well as a COVID cross country road trip with his wife while offering a deep look into his worldview. Offerman is not a comedian in the typical sense, and if you’ve seen any of his standup they feel more like stories being told with humorous asides than straight-up jokes, and this book matches that feel.

Everything, from how to properly buy hiking equipment that you would actually use, to feeling like the commercials you hear on the radio are slowly rotting your soul, everything in it is insightful, thoughtful, and guaranteed to make you put the book down then immediately want to pick it back up to reread it again.

Time to get to work. This was a fun way to warm the fingers up and get back to it, but now the real work begins. Baby C is coming soon, and we must all be ready.

Thanks for reading,

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Contact: robertmichaelacosta@gmail.com